Nelson Mandela started his final journey today as his body was taken from his home in a coffin draped in the South African flag he loved so ardently as it was announced his funeral will be on Sunday, December 15.
Before then, from December 11 to 13, the anti-apartheid hero's body will lie in state in a glass-topped coffin at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, where he was inaugurated as president on May 10, 1994.
It will mark three of the ten days officially assigned as a mourning period for 'Madiba' or 'Tata' as he was devotedly called, ahead of what is expected to be the one of the biggest funerals in history.
Mourners gathered to dance and sing songs of freedom outside his home as the world celebrates the life of the adored statesman who brought peace and equality to his country and died last night aged 95.
He passed away at home in Johannesburg at 8.50pm yesterday and his body was moved to a military hospital in Pretoria this morning, where he is under armed guard.
Imprisoned for 27 years before becoming South Africa's first black president, his courage in the face of persecution made him the most potent symbol of the struggle against apartheid, and an inspiration to millions in his country and billions beyond.
South African president Jacob Zuma announced this afternoon Nelson Mandela’s state funeral will be held in Quino, the village where he grew up, and is likely to be attended by world leaders including David Cameron and Barack Obama.
We will miss you Madiba...the man who was ready to die for the freedom of the world!